Education Technology

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  • Subject Area

    • Science: Middle Grades Science: Energy
    • Science: Physical Science: Energy
    • Science: Physical Science: Heat Transfer

  • Author

    Texas Instruments

  • Level


  • Activity Time

    60 Minutes

  • Device
    • TI-83 Plus Family
  • Software

    TI Connect™

  • Applications
  • Accessories

    CBL™/CBL 2™
    Sensor - Temperature
    TI Connectivity Cable
    TI-GRAPH LINK™ Cable
    Unit-to-Unit link cables

  • Other Materials
      This is Activity 10 from the EXPLORATIONS Book:
      Activities for Middle Grades Science with the CBL 2™ and TI-73.

      You will need the following materials:
    • Three soda cans and spray paint (silver, black. and white)
    • Clay or putty
    • Heat source (sun or a heat lamp)
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Collecting Solar Rays

Activity Overview

In this activity, students' will use three Temperature Sensors to collect data from three solar collectors and determine which one absorbs the most heat. They will develop an understanding of the difference between absorption and reflection.

Before the Activity

  • Connect the TI-73 Explorer™ to the CBL 2 unit
  • Plug three temperature sensors in channel 1, channel 2, channel 3 on the CBL 2 and start the DataMate™ program
  • Download TI-GRAPH LINK™ or TI Connect™ to analyze data on the computer
  • Download DataMate for TI-83+ program
  • See the attached PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity
  • Print pages 85 - 91 from the attached PDF file for your class
  • During the Activity

    Distribute the pages to your class

    Follow the Activity procedures:

  • Collect three soda cans painted black, white and silver
  • Put a sensor in each painted can and seal with putty or clay
  • Place the cans with sensors in the sun at exactly the same time or next to a heat lamp at the same distance from the heat source
  • Collect temperature data every 30 seconds for 10 minutes
  • Graph data
  • Identify which color made the best solar collector and which color reflected heat the best
  • After the Activity

    Students will complete Student Data Collection and Analysis Sheet.

    Review student results

  • As a class, discuss questions that appeared to be more challenging
  • Re-teach concepts as necessary